Meat Notice 2020-01 – Gunshot wound incident reporting – Kangaroo processing establishments


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Meat Notice 2020-01 - Gunshot wound incident reporting – Kangaroo processing establishments PDF PDF Icon 4 124 KB
Attachment 1: Kangaroo gunshot wound incident report PDF PDF Icon 3 156 KB

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Online version

NSFS reference: 14.1

Issue date: 14/01/2020

Date of effect: Immediate

Review date: 14 January 2022

Contact officers:

Jon Cupit
Senior Policy Officer – Operational Integrity
02 6272 5630

Christina McPhie
Director – Operational Integrity
02 6272 3059

Distribution categories

  • Central and regional office
  • Department on-plant officer(s)
  • Managers, export meat establishments
  • State/Territory regulatory authorities


This notice provides export registered kangaroo processing establishments with revised requirements for reporting kangaroo gunshot wounds (GSW) to the relevant state /territory authority. This notice supersedes Meat Notice 2009/16.


This notice applies to export registered kangaroo processing establishments.


The following table defines terms used in this notice.

Term Definition
Approved Arrangement (AA) An arrangement approved by the department under the Export Control Act.
Area Technical Manager (ATM) A departmental officer with veterinary qualifications who has responsibility for the supervision, technical performance, assessment and verification of technical standards and operations in a defined group of export meat establishments within a geographic area in a state or states.
Gunshot wound (GSW) A wound to an area other than the head of a harvested kangaroo.
Note: Old wounds indicative of pre-hunting activities (such as non-commercial or illegal culling, wounds from shotgun pellets and small calibre weapons) are not considered linked to commercial harvesting. These should be described in the incident report, including confirmation by the OPV.
On-plant Veterinarian (OPV) A veterinarian employed by the department to conduct and provide daily supervision of post-mortem inspection and verification of the game processing establishment’s approved arrangement.


The humane harvesting of kangaroos supports the acceptability of kangaroo meat and meat products by the Australian public and overseas trading partners.

The National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies for Commercial Purposes (the National Code of Practice) provides kangaroo shooters with guidance to ensure that the shooting of free living kangaroos and wallabies is carried out in a way that minimises pain and suffering.

On-plant veterinarians are located at export registered kangaroo processing establishments to monitor and verify that kangaroos arriving for processing are harvested humanely and in accordance with the National Code of Practice.


Establishment management must:

  1. Include a kangaroo gunshot wound incident reporting system which covers all the below requirements in the establishment’s approved arrangement (AA).
  2. Identify carcases with gunshot wounds and remove from processing.
    Note: GSW carcases are not eligible for either human consumption or pet food production. Skins from GSW carcases must also be condemned.
  3. Fill out a gunshot wound incident report (Attachment 1) and email together with photographic evidence within one business day to the on-plant veterinarian.
  4. Retain gunshot wound carcases under appropriate control until otherwise advised by the relevant state authority.

Departmental OPVs will:

  1. Provide establishment management with a copy of this meat notice as soon as possible.
  2. Verify the establishment responsibilities and actions under this meat notice have been included in the establishment’s approved arrangement (AA).
  3. Verify the establishment’s ongoing compliance with the requirements of this notice.
  4. Advise establishment management of any gunshot wound carcases not identified by the establishment operators and ask management to complete a gunshot wound incident report.
  5. Consult with establishment management on any gunshot wounds that appear to be due to pre-harvesting activities, e.g. non-commercial or illegal culling, shotgun pellet wounds, small calibre weapon wounds, old/healing wounds, and provide written comments on these in Section D: Carcase disposition of the incident report.
  6. Review gunshot wound incident reports raised by establishment management and verify they contain all the required information and clear photographic evidence.
  7. Forward completed animal welfare incident reports to the relevant state authority, ATM and the food safety unit ( within one business day of receiving it.

IMPORTANT: Kangaroos can be harvested at a number of locations around Australia. They may be harvested from one state and sent to another for processing. Establishment management must report GSW incidents to the state authority where the kangaroos were harvested and cc the state authority where the processing establishment is located.

  1. Liaise with the relevant state authority as required. 

Area Technical Managers will:

  1. Review and approve the establishment’s approved arrangement.
  2. Verify through audits the occupier’s compliance/non-compliance with relevant export legislation, importing country requirements and Australian standards.

State regulatory authorities will:

  1. Take appropriate follow-up action on reports received from kangaroo processing establishments.
  2. Advise the establishment management and the on-plant veterinarian if carcase retention is required and liaise with the on-plant veterinarian if additional information is required.
  3. Provide the OPVs with feedback on the progress/outcome of investigation taken.

Lesion assessment, evidence collection and reporting

Establishment personnel responsible for determining whether GSWs are present in the carcase should consult the OPV where a GSW lesion appears to be:

  • a result of a ricochet or deviation of a bullet from a head shot to the animal
  • a result of pre-harvesting activities.

Indicators of a lesion being caused pre-harvest include signs of age of the lesion, e.g. healing has commenced, pus has formed, tissues around the wound track have died back, or signs that otherwise indicate the animal was alive for a reasonable period of time after the wound occurred.

For all GSW carcases, photographs of the whole carcase showing the carcase tag and close-up photographs of the GSW lesions must be provided with the incident report. Photographs must be clear and of a good resolution. The close-up photographs should include a reference object adjacent to the lesion to enable accurate assessment of size. Preferably a ruler or tape measure is used as the reference object, but a common object of known size, such as a pen or pencil, may be used if a ruler is not available.

A kangaroo gunshot wound incident report must be completed for every carcase condemned due to GSW. Details of GSW lesions apparently due to pre-harvest activities should be described in adequate detail in the Additional information part of the Description of incident table in Section B: Incident details of the incident report. The OPV should also make comment on these lesions in the Additional comments: part of Section D: Carcase disposition in the incident report.

Jason Lucas
Export Meat Program

Last reviewed: 14 January 2020
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